But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand. There he waits until his enemies are humbled and made a footstool under his feet. For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy.
Why did Jesus have to die for you? Romans 3:23 says we all sin and fall short of God’s glorious standard; and Romans 6:23 says, “the wages of sin is death.” Since we all sin and the consequence of sin is death, what is our hope? God cannot overlook sin because He is Holy and Perfect; therefore, He gave us the solution: God requires a sacrifice of blood to cleanse us of sin. The Old Testament believers sacrificed animals as a foreshadowing of the single sacrifice for sin made by the perfect Lamb of God—Jesus.
Why was blood required for the cleansing of sin? Sin is serious; it separates you from your Holy God. Your efforts always fall short of your Holy God’s standard. Before Jesus’ sacrifice, God instructed His followers to sacrifice animals because blood given in exchange for a life makes atonement (or purification) possible. A sacrifice of life is required for new life to be received. Because life is in the blood (Leviticus 17:11), those who are purified by the blood sacrifice are set free from the consequence of sin—death.
When perfect, sinless, and Holy Jesus Christ offered His life on the cross, His blood provided a way for you to be cleansed of all your sins, once and for all. Accepting His sacrifice means you are accepted as God’s righteous, clean child. You have been set free from the bondage of sin forever. You have Christ’s new life running through your veins. Are you living your new life? (Taken from Nourishments-Food for the Soul).
As I write this, it is Maundy Thursday, a day set aside by Christians to reflect on the night in the upper room where Jesus and the disciples celebrated the Passover meal before Jesus was betrayed, beaten, and crucified for us. Maundy means new mandate or new covenant. Jesus was the perfect example of grace and truth and his new covenant for us included both grace and truth. Next are the two important events that occurred that night some 2000 years ago.
First, in Luke 22:19-20 (NLT) "He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.” After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you."
Truth and grace-Jesus sacrificed all He had for us and signed the deal in blood; His blood. He is the only way to the Father, but we must accept His sacrifice, repent and receive Him as Lord of our lives.
Secondly, in John 13:3-5 (NIV)Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
And John 13:34-35 A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Truth and grace- Do others know you are His disciple or follower by the love you show them? If your kindness, patience, humility, consideration and compassion are not growing are you following Jesus? Do you use your God-given voice to defend His ways or do you go weak, afraid you might offend someone? What about offending Jesus? Have you been washed by His blood? Have you really accepted His new life?
There is no better time to start allowing His new life to run through your veins. We are here but 5 minutes; let’s make it count for all of eternity! I have been blessed to meet many precious Christians on this road trip who are stepping it up for Jesus. They share with me how they are speaking out more and taking a stand for His truth in grace and love. I met a lady today who encouraged her college age daughter to start a Young Life group and offered her home at an inconvenience to her for them to meet once a week. The group has exploded with kids seeking truth and grace! She is a living example of living out Jesus’ command to love and serve one another.
Charles Spurgeon, “We may not know, we cannot tell, what pains He had to bear; but we believe it was for us, He hung and suffered there."